Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 22, 2013

Darden named Richlands Area Chamber 2012 Distinguished Citizen of the Year

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

RICHLANDS, Va. — He is still new to the Richlands area, but work that has made him a valued community asset has earned him one of local chamber’s highest honors.

David Darden, chief executive officer of the Clinch Valley Medical Center, was named the 2012 Distinguished Citizen of the Year on Thursday during the annual Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet at Southwest Virginia Community College.

Ginger Branton, the chamber’s executive director, described Darden as, “a man of great character, highly respected, serves willingly to make our community a better place to live.”

Darden lends his time and talents to many civic organizations and projects throughout the Richlands community.

“ He approaches opportunities with an open mind,” Branton said. “He has a caring heart and a compassion for the Richlands area.  He’s a fairly new resident to the Richlands area, but he has made his mark as a person of influence.”

Darden’s list of accomplishments include serving as the Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce president 2008 and 2009.

He has been a member of the chambers board of director from 2007-2012, and is currently chair of the LEAD Tazewell County 2013 Leadership Academy, Branton said. Darden also serves as a board of director for Richlands Area Citizens for the Arts (CART).

Since Darden became the CEO of the Clinch Valley Medical Center, the hospital has been recognized on two occasions for the LifePoint Hospitals High Five Award, which designates high quality and high efficiency in delivering healthcare to the community, Branton said. He serves on the CEO Advisory Panel for LifePoint Hospitals.

Darden serves on the Board of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. He is Chairman of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s Political Action Committee and has chaired the Council on Federal Relations. He is a regent representing the state of Virginia for the American College of Healthcare Executives.

In 2012, Darden was recognized by the American Hospital Association as the Grassroots Champion for the State of Virginia that deals with state and federal issues effecting hospitals and healthcare providers.

He is a member of the Richlands First United Methodist Church, sings in the Chancel Choir, and serves on the Administrative Council.

Darden is currently chairman of the citizens committee for the Town of Richlands on the revitalization of the Railroad Foreman Section House.

He is also on the SWCC Educational Foundation Board.

He is a member of the Clinch River Kiwanis Club.